The birthrate in Italy has become so catastrophic (1.25) that the government has just voted a new subsidy -- 250 euros a month from the 7th month pf pregnancy until the child's 21st birthday. There are now more retirees in Italy than active workers. And of course the pandemic has caused the birthrate to drop in just about every country in the world. I'm sure you have all read that a country needs a birthrate of 2.1 to maintain its population. Only France and Ireland approached that rate in Europe in recent years, but not even them anymore.
Anyway, at least Italy is trying something, although so far everybody is saying that 250 euros is not nearly enough.
It's hard to know where Europe is headed if it continues to resist immigration.
I've been tracking such issues for at least 10 years and I always wonder "why aren't they doing anything?" Obviously it's not completely true, but it's obvious that they are not doing the right things. Children living at home until they're 30 is very convenient in terms of unemployment security, but it is a terrible way for young people tp begn.in an independent life and think about starting a family.
But it is far from the fault of the various governments. Our lifestyles have changed so much in this century that younger generations often find sufficient succor in virtual reality rather than having to go and interact with real people (particularly of the opposite sex if they hope to breed).
Governments could at least take the situation seriously. Since I've never had and rarely wanted children, I'm certainly not telling people what do do, but when studying in Italy, the demographic oddity was already evident. Young men especially had little desire to move out on their own (except temporarily, to study or on temporary work assignments.
And of course, Italy is doing little to encourage immigration. I remember a right-wing party (the Northern League) wanting to encourage re-immigration from Argentina, in serious crisis at the dawn of the millennium. But they wanted only NORTHERN Italians - picky-picky!
The arguments for adding the south Tyrol to Italy after WWI remain pretty weak. German is still spoken in Bolzano and the rest of the Alto Adige where there are also German book stores, German restaurants and a marvelous statue to Walter von der Vogelweide, the Minnesänger I have a cd with Lotte Lenya reciting some of his poetry.